James Bodine’s Race report- Tommy Knocker and Fat Tire 40 MTB Races

Tommy Knocker 10 – March 7, 2015
Although it was an 8 hour drive, the ride/race at the Tommy Knocker 10 in Fort Bayard, NM was worth it. Since this event was free, with a suggested start time of 8:00am and stop time of 6:00pm, it was more of an ‘underground event’ than a race but that didn’t stop a lot of two wheelers from racing.
Keith Ashmore, Sean Peck and I rode the event as a relay team and managed to nail down first place.  The second place team was close so we dared not take it easy.  The course was fast with about 4 miles of climbing at the beginning and the last 6 miles being mostly downhill with the exception of a couple of small hills at the very end which really hurt.  With the course being only about 10 miles long our lap times were in the 40 to 45 minute range.  After the race we all settled down for a few beers before calling it a good day of racing.
Fat Tire 40 – March 14, 2015
Keith Ashmore, Sean Peck, Steve Koller and I travelled down on Friday afternoon to Fountain Hills, AZ and finally got settled in around 8pm for the night after some dinner.  The 80+ degree weather that day and on Saturday at McDowell Mountain Park sure felt great compared to our 40-60 degree weather in Durango.
None of us slept very good that night and trying to find a place that serves breakfast on Saturday before 7am turned out the be a chore. We finally found a Dennys down the road, quickly ordered our breakfast and practically inhaled our food so we could get to the race, pick up our packets and get ready before Steve’s start at 8am.
I didn’t have time to get in a very good warm up before the race so when the race started I was hoping it wouldn’t take off too fast.  When the race started we had about 200 to 300 yards to get in position before the single track and I managed to sneak onto the single track in around 8th place.  Fortunately for a mile or two I could keep the leaders in sight while my body finally warmed up.  After those first couple of miles the the leaders started to pull away so I had to start trying to move up.  By the time we hit the service road section, in between single tracks about 4 miles in, I was in 4th place directly behind 2nd and 3rd with the leader a couple hundred yards in front of us.  At this point I pulled in front hoping the 3 of us could pull ourselves up to the leader but when I looked back a minute later I had unexpectedly ridden away from the other 2 guys.  Now I had no choice but to dig in and try and catch the leader by myself.  It took about 5 miles or so but I finally caught the leader, Lane, and we rode together for about the next 15 miles.  Somewhere towards the end of that 15 miles I came up on Keith who graciously sacrificed one of his water bottles (Thanks Keith!) so that I wouldn’t have to stop at the feed zone for water as I was down to one bottle with too many miles left to race.  A little ways after passing Keith, Lane was leading on a downhill where he almost nailed a saguaro cactus so I took the opportunity, pulled in front and managed to get a gap by the end of downhill.  I kept the pressure on for the remaining 12 or so miles and managed to take the win!

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